Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Harvest Watercolor Batik Paintings

This is a watercolor mixed media project that is fun and surprisingly easy to do!

First, liquid watercolors are used to cover an entire 12 x 18 inch piece of white construction paper - do not use watercolor paper because it is too thick and stiff for the next step!

Next, after the watercolor has dried somewhat, wad up the paper into a little ball - just like you might do to throw it away - but don't toss it! Instead, open up and flatten the entire paper, then wad it up again! Now, flatten once more and you will find that any remaining moisture has pretty
much soaked into the paper and it is dry to the touch.

As an option, you can at this time iron the paper to flatten and dry it out a bit more. Yup, that's right. With an iron. However, don't completely press out the wrinkles! The wrinkles will be needed for the batik process. Ironing is not necessary, but we did it to make the next steps easier.

Now draw your design lightly on the paper using a pencil. Use the pencil to draw in the basic shapes only, not all of the details (like the kernels in the corn). Here are some tips:

  • Use a variety of items, at least three types.
  • Try to aim for five or six types of items by adding smaller objects in the front. 
  • Use items that differ in shape, size, and color. 
  • Plan to include a lot of detail for more interest.
  • Overlap the objects - layer them - with larger items in back and smaller ones in front. 

Once you've placed everything where want it, begin to color in everything with oil pastels. Press hard, and add highlights on top (using lighter tints of the color) and shadows on the bottom (using shades of the color). In other words, don't just use white or black for highlights and shades.

Now go back in with your black pastel and outline all of your objects. Press firmly. Add details within the objects too, as shown in the samples above.

It is now time for your final step. Pour a small amount of black tempera paint into a cup and add some water to make it thin and slightly inky. Using a soft brush, paint over all of the oil pastel-filled areas with the thinned black paint. The oil pastel will pop right out and the paint will only fill in around the oil pastel marks. In addition, the paint will highlight the wrinkles in the paper for an interesting and lovely batik look. You can also allow some of the paint to flow beneath the items to indicate shadows, as was done in the bottom sample. It will appear as a transparent gray, like soft shadows, while allowing the background colors to show through.

This is fun mixed media project is great a great way to celebrate autumn colors! We enjoyed it and you will too.

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